Destination Banff, Glacier, and Yellowstone National Parks: Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park is a wonder to behold.
Unfortunately, my visit to this majestic park was for only a few hours, boarding a 1936 vintage Red Jammer at St. Mary with 11 other passengers and traveling the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Logan Pass. But along the way, you can’t help but marvel at the mountains, valleys, waterfalls, and wildlife that passes before you along the way. Encompassing about 1 million acres, it was designated a national park in 1910.
|Glacier National Park|
You also see scores of hikers who get off the beaten path to explore the beautiful region of North America, sometimes referred to as “The Crown of the Continent,” from an article by renowned conservationist George Bird Grinnell in 1901 that sought to preserve the pristine area at includes the southwest corner of Alberta, Canada. I wish I could have jumped off the bus and joined the trekkers, at least for a few miles.
|My wife and I|
Logan Pass is named after Major William Logan, the first superintendent of the park. It sits at an elevation of 6,646 feet along the Continental Divide. A visitors’ center with limited parking (the NPS recommends taking a shuttle to Logan Pass) and hiking paths to gorgeous views of the park await the adventurous traveler.
Because of climatic changes, every named glacier in the park has shrunk between 1966 and 2015, some as much as 80 percent, according to the National Park Service. There were around 80 named glaciers around 1850; now there are 26.
To get an idea of how the environment has changed in the past century at Glacier National Park, view these then-and-now photos from the NPS. A guide said that even if the glaciers melt away, the park will remain relevant as an important geologic destination.
I would have enjoyed spending more time at Glacier National Park but when on a guided tour, you can be held captive by the planned itinerary. Perhaps I will return one day—on my own time—and see more of the natural riches this national park offers to travelers.
Until the next time . . .